The news this morning was that the Government will be stepping up its preparations for a no-deal Brexit. This is perhaps not surprising with the prospects for the Prime Minister's deal looking distinctly bleak and the lack of Parliamentary consensus around other options.
At the same time, the FT includes reports that many businesses outside the financial sector have not prepared for the no-deal option. Many will have been relying on the proposed transition period to put in place any adjustments required once the shape of any future relationship between the EU27 and the UK becomes clearer. However, no-deal remains the default option under both the Article 50 process and the existing UK legislation, and so, in the current political climate, preparations for the possibility of that outcome are becoming an imperative.
On the tax side, the Government has issued some guidance notes and one or two statutory instruments - limited to customs and VAT - but guidance and certainty remain in short supply. From a straw poll of other EU countries it would appear that most are equally unprepared. For those that have not read it before, here is a link to our tax check list. Time for some Christmas reading...
“For every company that has done some sort of risk assessment on Brexit preparedness in general, there are two that haven’t,” said Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce. “Of those that have, very few will have done it on the basis of a no-deal.”